When I was younger, I remember my mom and my grandmother talking about how the years just “flew by”. Now that I’m older and I understand that a year can literally fly by when you are busy doing the work that you are called to. Did you realize that we are down to the final 32 days of 2017? I don’t know about you but I feel like this year absolutely flew by.
Over this past year, I know you have made some amazing accomplishments and reached goals that you once thought were unattainable. I also know that your accomplishments did not come with some disappointment or heartache. What if you looked at your failures positively? Think about it. If you didn’t fail, if you didn’t hear ‘no’, if you didn’t stumble, if you didn’t fall…how on Earth would you learn the lessons required to be extraordinary?
Many of you might be in the process of creating New Year’s resolutions or creating a vision board for 2018. In these final days of 2017, take an opportunity to look back over the year and list your biggest accomplishments and your biggest failures and list the lessons that you learn from them. You might be surprised. The revelation might change how you shape your goals for 2018.
Occasionally everyone needs a little bit of motivation. Here are a few of my favorite quotes that I refer to when I need an emotional and motivational pick me up. I’ve placed these quotes in my daily planner, my wallet, and my desk. What motivational quotes do you refer to when you need an extra push of inspiration? Share them with me on Twitter (@WorkYourPackage) and Facebook (Work Your Package).
Have you ever noticed that when things are going well, you have to deal with what I like to call inconsequential nonsense? While it might be an issue, if you take time to think about it, it will not really matter in 5 weeks, 5 months and certainly not 5 years from now. The inconsequential nonsense may present itself as something that can have a profound impact when in reality it’s only there to provide a lesson. However, when you focus on it for too long, it takes your eyes off the “prize”. You have the choice to say, “Ok, I’m done. Lesson learned.” You do not have to stay in the midst of inconsequential nonsense because you want to have the last word or want to prove a point. The point of nonsense is to learn a lesson. Which by the way…may have NOTHING to do with the issue you are dealing with. Imagine that! Sometimes the only purpose of the nonsense is to teach you a life lesson. Like, don’t expect everyone to understand your vision, dreams or aspirations. Speak up, even when it’s unpopular. Mistakes themselves do not define you, it’s your unwillingness to admit them that does.
I know, it is so easy to get consumed with the nonsense, especially if you are surrounded with people who thrive off of negativity. Baby love, nothing positive can be birthed from the soil of negativity. We’ve talked about this before. If you aren’t surrounding yourself with people who are going to 1) Encourage you to do and be better and 2) Hold you accountable…then you are around the wrong people.
Keep your eyes on the “prize”… whatever that might be for you. Whether it’s a well-deserved promotion, another academic degree, a house or a bigger house or my favorite “prize” of all…opening yourself new opportunities that continue to push towards being extraordinary. Stay focused. You’ve worked too hard to allow something minor keep you from your “prize”.
You are a one of kind.
A designer original.
#1 in a batch of 1.
There’s just you.
That’s it and that’s all.
Here’s a reminder from 2013 that everything isn’t for everybody.
“I love that you have wild ambition but don’t get in your own way.”
“You are a titan, but you are like a bird with no place to land.”
“You know I support you but do you have time for this?”
I won’t go into detail about what prompted the statements and question but I will share this: If you cannot fearlessly share your goals and challenges with the people on your personal board of directors, you are surrounded by the WRONG people. I declared that I was going to take a little bit of a break. That break lasted for about a week. My people will not let me off the hook that easy. My people have called me out on my nonsense. They held up the mirror and forced me to see my hardheaded ways. Don’t laugh. I’m willing to bet you have hardheaded ways too. Are you turning away from the mirror? Are you ignoring the calls and text messages? Are you telling yourself you just have to get “everything under control” and things will be better? The Perfectionist Trap is real.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to write down everything that is currently on your proverbial plate. Be honest with yourself and if you have a hard time doing that, ask a member from your board of directors to “remind” you of your commitments. Are you overcommitting yourself? Success is awesome but you won’t be able to enjoy it if you are a hot mess.
Sometimes the hardest decisions that you have to make are the ones that involve what you are passionate about. In December 2013, I floated the idea of hosted a women’s conference. In April 2014, the inaugural Work Your Package Women’s Conference was held followed by two more in 2015 and 2016. On September 6, 2017, I shared with The Maven Network that the 4th conference would be the last…for awhile. As much as I love producing the Work Your Package Women’s Conference, I realized that while I was capable of saying “no” to others, I struggled with saying “no” to myself. The internal conversation started months ago and I ignored it for as long as I could. The myriad of emotions ran the gambit from disappointment to relief. I questioned myself and my motives for having a conference in the first place. The moment of truth came when I realized that by continuing to produce the conference, I was being a hypocrite to the foundation of Work Your Package by:
- Ignoring the little birdie
- Ignoring the loving advice from my personal board of directors
- Not managing my 168
- Not following through my goals
Why am I sharing this with you? I don’t want you to make the same mistake. Listen, I want to you to pursue your passion. I want you to continue to invest in your personal and professional development. But if it “cost” is too high, make the hard decision and hit the pause button. Remember, you didn’t have to find your passion. It’s been with you all this time. It’s not going to go away. You won’t lose it. Pausing, taking some time to reassess and regroup will not (I repeat…will NOT) be a detriment to your life’s work. I dare say that it’s a bonus. After you have taken time to shift your focus, you will open yourself to new opportunities to share your passion.
You are not your passion but the gifts produced from your passion cannot exist without you. Focus on you first.
Everyone likes to win. I haven’t met a person yet who said, “Oh, I’m fine with not winning.” Everyone wants success. Keep in mind that every one of has a different idea of success. A win for you might look like an absolute failure for someone else. Winning is awesome. Winning causes you to poke your chest out and say, “Hey, look at me! I did it!”.
But what about failure and suffering a setback? Crickets.
Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
As miserable as it may feel, even more so if it is public, failure is an incredible teacher:
- It teaches you about yourself. Without failure, you have absolutely no idea how resilient you really are. Give yourself some credit. Take time to write down your “epic” failures and write down the lesson. Trust me, there is a lesson in every single one.
- It shows the true character of those around you. One of my sisterfriends told me, “Listen, I’m with you through the glitter and gutter.” Come hell or high water, she has been there for me. Knowing that I have that type of support bolsters me against disappointment.
One of my favorite authors is Paulo Coelho. He said, “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” Don’t be so afraid to fail that you kill your dreams in the process. Failure is okay and expected. My expectation of you is to keep moving forward. Why? Because I know you can and will.
Psst! Have you heard? I’m part of a stellar line up of 50 trainers for a webathon on September 22-24, to benefit Vickie Sokol Evans. Visit www.executivesecretary.com\webathon to register and for more information.
An author and radio personality, Earl Nightingale said, “We become what we think about.” Take a minute a to think about that. When you have pleasant thoughts, typically additional positive and optimistic thoughts follow. Conversely, when you are pessimistic, you tend to have a negative outlook and before you know it, you are stuck in the muck of negativity. InspireYourPeople.com came up with the top 11 thoughts that can get in the way of having a positive outlook and should eliminate from your day:
1. Defeatist (accepting, expecting, or being resigned to defeat)
2. Cynical (contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives)
3. Vindictive (seeking revenge)
4. Blame/Fault (who cares?? what are we going to do now?)
5. Wishful (do what you can to influence the project/situation/deal and keep moving)
6. Self-pity (get over yourself … no excuses … no drama…no complaints…)
7. Worrisome (it won’t help, costs time, and can drag you down)
8. Jealous (want it? earn it)
9. Pre-argumentative (the imaginary argument you have to prepare yourself for the argument that may NEVER happen)
10. Post-argumentative (the imaginary argument you have where you’re quicker than you were in the actual argument)
11. Procrastination (if you’re going to procrastinate, it makes sense to do something fun instead of thinking about how bad it is that you’re procrastinating)
The article goes on the say that eliminating wasteful thoughts might be impossible to avoid but it is completely possible to minimize them and their impact. Here are three ways to do just that:
• Recognize the thoughts when they come up.
• Remind yourself negative thoughts are a costly distraction.
• Redirect your thinking (and/or doing) to something positive.
Challenge yourself to think positive. I’m not saying that life is all peaches and cream but you can control how you respond to the inevitable disappointments of life.
When we face uncertainty, we often try to convince ourselves that we should be confident in our abilities to overcome any obstacle. The problem is depending on the obstacle, your confidence level can take a beating and it can take days, weeks or in the worse case, years to recover. Think about the last time you tried something and failed. How long did it take you to try again? Have you tried again? Courage is something that is deeply rooted in your heart. Courage allows you to have difficult conversations. Courage allows you to stand in your truth. Courage opens the door for you to pursue your passion and try something new. Courage is the pillar of which constant confidence is built. Being brave isn’t the absence of fear, it’s having the courage to do “it” anyway.
I’m super excited about the 4th annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference! This purposely intimate conference was designed to create a space where attendees could have meaningful and lasting connections with subject matter experts.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing thoughts from the speakers so that you can get to know them better.
Visit www.wyp2017.eventbrite.com for more information.